CULTURE: The Potato Project

Out goes my diet

Anyone who knows me is aware of my love for a spud! It often triumphs over my other favourite foods both at home and in restaurants because it’s simple, hearty and utterly scrumptious. Based on this, you can imagine my immediate excitement when I heard about the new (as in brand spanking new) baked potato company, The Potato Project, opening a café on Noel Street in Soho.

Brought about by Ksenia Karpenko (formerly head sommelier at Four to Eight), The Potato Project proves that there’s more to a jacket potato than its usual pairing of cheese and beans. The menu is split into two halves, the first being classic combinations with a tantalizing twist. Smoked ham hock, cheddar & piccalilli and tuna mayonnaise with roast corn and pickled red onion are amongst the options.

Sweet potato is offered on the Specials menu

Alternatively, you can opt for something a little more ambitious from the something a little different side. The friendly members of staff recommended that I try the coupling of chilli beef ragu and blue cheese. Ignoring my non-adventurous taste buds, I followed their suggestion… it was delicious. The spice of the meat when coupled with the creaminess of the cheese created a tasty contrast and putting this on a bed of carbs, genius!

Life lessons whilst choosing your filling

What can I say? It’s clear that London’s latest shop is definitely succeeding in shining the spotlight on the versatility of potatoes. The menu’s unconventional combinations alongside The Potato Project’s homely atmosphere make it the perfect spot for a busy she to have a humble meal.

BEAUTY: Hurry! Halloween Special

Happy Halloween busy shes!

Whether you’re tricking, treating or staying in to watch Hocus Pocus, there’s no denying that Halloween can be a lot of fun!

However, when you’re a busy she it can become a fairly stressful holiday too. Finding that scary yet sexy oufit and following so called ‘simple’ make-up tutorials are both expensive and time-consuming. Before you know it, the 30th October is here and a sheet with two eye holes tomorrow is looking like your best bet!

Thing is, no one said you have to go all out, especially once you’re out of University. The saying less is more springs to mind. In light of this and the fact that is Halloween-eve, I’ve picked a couple beauty buys/looks that’ll channel your inner Morticia Addams with minimal hassle. You better get started, quick!

#1 The first and probably the easiest way to vamp it up this year is by experimenting with lipstick. Dark hues of red are typically associated with Halloween (as seen on me), but seeing as it’s all about creativity, why not give the looks below a try?

Use a black eyeliner to line your lips and blend outwards to generate the gradual move into red. The pop of colour will look best using MAC in Morange – £15.50.
Copying this only involves two products, a metallic silver lipstick such as Rimmel’s Metallic 240 – £4.99 and a liquid eyeliner pen. The trickiest part is getting your artistry right!

#2 Make your fingernails fierce and frightening with some festive nail art. You don’t have to be a technician to try-out the following boo-tiful designs! If does get a little messy, you can always cover up the mistake with black nail varnish.

A clear varnish acts as your base but you can always change it up according to your costume. For the tips, a bright orange like the one in Rita Ora’s Rimmel London range – £2.99 is painted a quarter of the way. If you struggle with keeping a line, you can always use tape as a guide. Then the stitch like effect can be simply done using a nail art pen.
This is a perfect match for the lipstick look above and similarly takes a little bit of concentration. Begin with a metallic or glittery black, a favourite of mine is Rockstar by Barry M – £3.99. The spooky spider-webs are drawn with a white nail art pen, preferably with a thin tip to ensure precision!

CULTURE/FASHION: CHANEL’s Mademoiselle Privé Exhibition

Do not disturb, CHANEL in the making

It’s common knowledge that Haute Couture often comes with a pretty hefty price tag. Unfortunately CHANEL haven’t gone and discounted their quilted handbags (which are forever on my wishlist), but they have kindly invited the public to explore the creativity and craftmanship behind the renowned house of fashion without receiving a penny! The result? A luxurious and captivating experience.

Coco’s first hat shop in Deauville

Hosted at London’s Saatchi Gallery (closest tube station: Sloane Square), the exhibition truly immerses us into Gabrielle, known as Coco, Chanel’s world which to say the least, is extraordinary! We begin at Coco’s Rue Cambon apartment where her vision was first established and move through to Venice, Scotland and Deauville, each place crucial to CHANEL’s artistry.

Apparently diamonds are a girl’s best friend

Following this, each space goes onto represent details that are now embedded in the house’s style. A giant version of Coco’s 1932 star-covered diamond necklace leads way to a room filled with CHANEL’s famous bouclé tweeds for us to touch and a wacky but wonderful perfumery. The custom-made Mademoiselle Privé app proves a useful, interactive guide through these aspects as it offers explanations for Coco’s choices and even displays quotes from the designer.

Lily Cole, taken by Karl Lagerfield

For me, the recreations of Coco’s Bijoux de Diamants High Jewellery collection and French garden that inspired the intertwined C of CHANEL stole the show. Both rooms provided such attention-to-detail and exquisiteness, I felt as though I’d been transported back in time.

I won’t say any more and have tried to keep things fairly brief because the beauty of the event is the unravelling of CHANEL’s secrets. This is one all busy shes should find the time for as it’s now open until 10pm each night, ending on November 1st! Did I mention you get a free tote bag and poster too?

FASHION: Stepping into Autumn

Got to love the British weather

Judging by the amount of rain we’re having and the fact that I’ve had to put the heating on, I’d say we’ve officially hit autumn! Fear not busy shes, it’s not all doom and gloomy mornings, thecityandshe has found a silver lining. A change in the season means an excuse for a wardrobe update and you’ve guessed it… I’ve picked the two most wearable must-haves to spruce up your outfits for September.

#1 First up, if there’s a colour that’ll transform you lovely ladies into autmnal advocates, it’s burnt orange. Now I know bold colours aren’t for everyone and the colder months are often associated with a dark palette but this fits the season so well, it’d be a crime in the name of fashion not to!

Clearly enjoying my new blazer – £14.99

A blazer is the easiest way to wear this trend, especially if you’re a little apprehensive. The new look steal above (modelled by yours truly) is the perfect piece. It’s floral detail adds a feminine twist to the striking burnt orange. I teamed it with casual skinny jeans in a bright blue to really generate a contrast. If you like what you see (talking about the blazer here) the snap it up fast as it’s on sale.

#2 Next is the cape. This has got to be the autumn staple that’s closest to walking around in your throw all day! The reign of the cape began in A/W 14 with Burberry’s 15% cashmere and 85% wool versions that were donned by the likes of Cara Delevigne and Olivia Palermo. If seeing these fashion gurus all wrapped-up isn’t enough for you to add this to your collection, well… I don’t really know what to say because it should!

Channel the folk trend by adding fringed boots and denim – £20

Much like last year, it’s all about checks for this piece and ASOS has got it spot on! It’s larger pattern is easier on the eye than some capes around and looks a lot less like a picnic blanket. The mixture of subtle autumnal shades would compliment anything from a pair of jeans as styled by ASOS or a tapered trouser. This makes it a versatile choice perfect for those chilly mornings in the office.

BEAUTY: Two Minute Mornings

Who else hates mornings?

 We all know that dreaded feeling on a Monday morning when your alarm goes off. We head straight for the snooze button. Once, twice… until finally we have to drag ourselves out of bed and into the bathroom. By this point, if you’re anything like me, you’re running late! This calls for a quick and easy way to prepare your face for the day, (I’m even a poet and I didn’t even know it).

I’ve tried a fair few face cleansers and moisturisers, some specifically for my skin type (oily and sensitive) and others that had gotten the seal of approval from friends. Nothing worked for me. I’d end up with either inflamed patches on my face or breakouts. Not to mention the time it takes to apply all these products, it just didn’t work for me. So, my secret? Simple’s bar of soap.

And you can get two bars at a time!

The entire Simple collection is brilliant if you’re conscious about harmful ingredients or using products that are too heavy but in particular though their good old-fashioned soap is fantastic. It takes the best part of two minutes and honestly, my skin is clear and feels smooth. I always prep my face with warm water to open its pores and to wash off the lather I use cold water to seal its cleanliness. To finish, I use Simple’s light hydrating moisturiser as my face produces excess oils and I use a liquid foundation so my skin doesn’t require too much added moisture. And voila – you can now head to work with supple and refreshed skin and gain an extra ten minutes in bed!

CULTURE: Nottinghill Carnival 2015

Too much for every day make-up?

Hello friends and fellow bloggers! What better way to start off this blog than with a little sum-up and huge recommendation for all you busy shes to head to Nottinghill Carnival next year!

It’s easy for annual events to gradually lose momentum and excitement, especially in London where the choice is only growing. However, the city’s biggest celebration of Caribbean culture surpassed my expectations once again and it’s safe to say that yesterday made for a great end to the summer.

If you’re a fan of music, food, dancing or just having a chat with an interesting and diverse crowd then carnival is the place for you. Sure you need to have your wits about you but as a whole people get together to enjoy the colourful floats, buzzing atmosphere and jerk chicken stands (Shout out to you MAMA’S JERK).

Brightening up a dreary London

If you aren’t sold already… it’s free! Completely and totally free! A rare find in the capital these days if you ask me. For that reason alone it makes for a perfect way to spend the bank holiday with work pals, friends and family. Everyone is welcome and I guarantee you, will enjoy themselves.

What’s the phrase? See everyone you love at one event without spending a penny, have a fabulous time and be in for a reasonable time? Sounds like the perfect fun, free festivity that’s a little different before the autumnal working week begins.

Always time for a group photo